Maritime Access for the North Sea with e-Navigation Conference Set

January 7, 2013  - By
Image: GPS World

ACCSEAS is hosting its first conference, “Pioneering safer maritime access for the North Sea with e-Navigation,” to be held in Flensburg, Northern Germany, March 5-7, 2013.

What is expected to be a first annual conference of the ACCSEAS (Accessibility for Shipping, Efficiency Advantages and Sustainability) project will examine how to address significant current and future issues which may impact on safe navigation in the North Sea and western Baltic Sea by pioneering safe regional access through the use of e-Navigation.

Themes for the March 2013 Conference will include:

  • Defining regional e-Navigation for safe and efficient access to ports in the North Sea;
  • Providing an innovative approach to North Sea accessibility and efficiency challenges; and
  • The use of e-Navigation as a sustainable way forward for improving navigational safety within our region.

A recent ACCSEAS project workshop in the Netherlands in December 2012, which was attended by representatives from major North Sea ports, well known shipping companies, navigation authorities and equipment suppliers, identified significant issues which may interfere with safe navigation in the North Sea and the neighbouring area of the Western Baltic.

The issues identified by the workshop that can be further explored within the conference included:

  • Implications of renewable power generation, particularly the proliferation of wind turbines and potential  reductions in navigable “sea room”;
  • The prediction that an increase in ship size, particularly amongst container vessels, is unlikely to reduce shipping traffic densities;
  • The need to recognise the complexity of bridge systems in the training of seafarers;
  • Questioning by mariners of their trust in the accuracy of existing onboard navigation systems;
  • Provision of a navigational back-up in the event of failures, jamming or “spoofing” of vulnerable satellite based systems;
  • Identifying the need to provide better links between mariners and policy makers at national, European and International levels;
  • Better provision of information between ship and shore personnel, particularly with respect to routing and weather information.
  • The conference will also include the establishment of the first North Sea e-Navigation Forum to bring together users, stakeholders and navigation authorities and provide a voluntary arena for discussing and advising on the future implementation of e-Navigation in the region.

The ACCSEAS Project, which seeks to improve maritime access to the North Sea Region of Europe, is run by a partnership of navigation and maritime authorities, academic institutions and industry from Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and United Kingdom.

Within this area, ACCSEAS aims to implement and demonstrate a practical test-bed for e-Navigation prototype services in order to demonstrate proof-of-concept solutions to existing and potential navigation issues within the region.

Commenting on the ACCSEAS Project and the first annual conference, Roger Lockwood, Chief Executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board, stated:

“The ACCSEAS project is an exciting opportunity to put the maritime community at the centre of future innovation in navigation safety for efficient access to North Sea ports.”

Further information and registration details for the conference will shortly be available on the ACCSEAS website.

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